Category Archives: Galettes

How to Make a Galette

Sheesh! That’s the last time I try to make excuses! One wise-gal wrote in to tell me she’d checked doppler radar, and the front would be passing by Louisville by 11:00! I guess there are some serious galette fans out there. My showcase photo doesn’t have that golden, sun-dappled look I like so much, but oh well. Here goes.

Combine your dry ingredients and add your butter pieces.

Then stick your hand in there and start rubbing. Don’t spend too much time, lest you warm the butter too much.

You want all the flour buttered to some degree, but with some big chunks still in there. That’ll create a laminated dough-like effect, making the crust flakier.

Add your ice water…I see I have a little bit of ice cube still in there. No matter:

Then mix gently. First with a spatula:

Then with a little light kneading to bring it together into a ball. Tart dough is a little wetter than a pie dough, but it’ll still seem a bit cumbly at this point. If it simply won’t hold together add a bit more water and work the dough as little as possible to incorporate it.

Pat it into a disk and refrigerate for an hour or more.

Now then, to the filling. Put the sugar and balsamico in a sauté pan and heat gently until the sugar melts.

Add your spices and stir them in.

Now the pear slices.

Toss them until they’re well covered (a word to the wise: put an apron on).

To assemble, fetch your disk of dough and roll it on a floured board.

You want a disk somewhere around 14 inches across. Don’t worry if the edges are a little ragged — this is a rustic tart, remember?

Sprinkle on your absorbent layer of crumbs. These are some crushed ‘Nilla Wafers.

Arrange your fruit slices, or just pour them in a heap if you want, that’s perfectly fine too. I’m doing this in concentric spirals because some other wise guy out there requested that I make this as difficult on myself as possible. Lord. Note to self: never diss the readership!

In that spirit, I also did a slightly more elaborate “gusseted” edge. Just pinch the dough every couple of inches all the way around. If that’s more than you’re comfortable with, then fold in the edges toward the center one at a time. I’ve seen square galettes, pentagonal ones, whatever gets the job done. Just squeeze your folds down a bit to prevent leakage of any juices.

Pour any remaining syrup over the fruit and bake. That’s it, you feisty pastry people, you.

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Pear Galette Recipe

Once you make your first galette, you may never go back to your tart pans, the things are that easy. The trick is to resist over-filling them. A thin layer of fruit not only cooks more thoroughly, it keeps the galette from getting the over-stuffed “flying saucer” look. Remember: a galette isn’t a pie, it’s a tart, which means it’s going to have a higher crust-to-filling ratio.

For the Dough:

5 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
4 ounces chilled, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2.5 ounces ice water

Mix the flour, sugar, and salt together in a bowl. Add the butter pieces, and rub in by hand quickly, still leaving a few big pieces. Add the water and mix gently, bringing the dough together in a ball (don’t knead it). Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or overnight.

For the Filling:

2 ripe pears (Bosc, D’anjou or Barlett)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
pinch cinnamon
a few gratings fresh nutmeg
about half a cup of crushed cookies or cake crumbs

Peel and cut the pears into thin slices. In a sauté pan over medium heat, combine the balsamic vinegar and sugar. Heat until the sugar melts, then turn off the flame. Stir in the spices, then add the pear slices and toss gently until the pears are coated.

Assembly:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll the dough out into a disk about 14″ across. Transfer to a piece of baking parchment. Sprinkle the cookie or cake crumbs over the dough, leaving about a 2-inch border around the edges. Arrange pears in a spiral pattern in the center, then fold up the outer edge to partly cover the fruit. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the crust is golden.

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